This book is narrated in the first person by a genetics professor/researcher who is more than just a little bit on the Aspergers spectrum. As the book begins, he’s preparing to begin The Wife Project; it’s time for him to have some female companionship and if a genius like him can’t figure out how to do it, no one can. Well, maybe no one can. Anyway, one thirty-two page questionnaire later, he’s ready to start his project. But then free-spirited Rosie shows up and she’s everything he doesn’t need and . . . you know where this is going. This book is actually really enjoyable. There’s not a single plot surprise in the whole thing, but it’s a pleasant surprise to see that Simsion knows how to let his characters really breathe. He writes the entire book in the voice of this professor and it’s absolutely flawless, never an out of character moment. Rosie herself gets surprisingly developed; she isn’t just another Manic Pixie Dream Girl (or whatever they’re calling them these days). As the book goes on, her own troubled nature begins to come to prominence and you realize that this isn’t just a story about a woman teaching a man how to love – it’s actually about two people who really do need each other. And the book is genuinely funny. I rarely laugh out loud at a book, but I did several times reading this one. At one scene, I just put the book down, covered my face with my hands and laughed for a good minute. This isn’t great literature by a stretch, but it’s a really, really entertaining novel and it’s a quick read too. Recommended. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – genuine humor and surprisingly deft and expert characterization save this rom-com from the ever present clichés. 3 ½ stars.